Eiffel ski-lift: Misbegotten Swiss mountain plan from the 19th cen.

Mara sez, "The Swiss Alpine engineers: Were they drinking or suffering thru a very bad winter of cabin fever when they dreamed up that idea for bringing tourists to the top of the Jungfrau mountain (4,158 metres, or 13,642 ft)? A thousand-meter-high lift built inside a gigantic Eiffel Tower structure, put in the middle of an Alpine valley, with the top of the tower connected to the top of the Jungfrau by a suspended cable car? It's an amazing undated drawing, probably from the end of the 1800s." Link (Thanks, Mara!)


  1. Hah! Dan Simmons, in his book Olympos (I think, though it might have been in the previous book, Illium) had a cable car travel system across his futuristic/alternate Earth. The characters travelled in a gondola that ran suspended between thousands of full-size Eiffel towers.. Now I know where he got the idea from :)

  2. So, instead, they built a cog rail tunnel through the Eiger massif to the Jungfraujoch, and an elevator to the Sphinx observatory on top. Probably cost as much, but less problems with wind and icing. My first night in Switzerland I was puzzled by the sodium vapor light in the middle of the face of the Eiger, turns out it was in a window in the rail tunnel. Being Switzerland, there are also artillery emplacements in the tunnel (shhh. no one is supposed to know).

    From the Jungfraujoch you can take a hike across the Konkordiaplatz glacier , spend the night in a climbing hut at the top of Europe, and end up in an entirely different part of Switzerland. With a several hour train ride back to your start.

  3. Those were the days, though, weren’t they? When you could do anything you damn well pleased, so long as you had enough cast iron.

  4. This idea is explored and elaborated on by Dan Simmons in Olympos. The logosphere Avatar Prospero, is traveling in the eiffel-bahn, a network of eifels connected by cables stretching from China to Portugal.

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